tofu sucks

When I wrote the menu for IbN, I included a few of my family’s favorite dishes.

The first time that Sara and her boyfriend, Craig, came in for dinner he said, “it tastes like Sunday dinner at your house, except I have to pay!”

The last time that Kaitie was home, Ralph and I treated her to dinner at IbN. Her reaction was the same as Craig’s. I feel like we are at home.

My family has both enjoyed and suffered my culinary journey. Their suffering has become the stuff of legends. Whenever, something does not taste good I work on it until I get it right. I never assume that it is the recipe’s fault.

When the girls were nine years old, I experimented with tofu. For several months, I worked on every possible combination of ingredients trying to create something delicious from soybean curd.

Week after week, our suppers consisted of tofu combined with all manner of vegetable and herb combinations. My normally boisterous dinner table was glum but dutiful. Ralph and the girls would eat in silence, smile politely when finished and spend the rest of the evening trying to digest their meal.

 I would prattle on about how nutritious tofu was and “isn’t it interesting how it takes on the flavour of whatever it is combined with?”

After weeks of silence, Kaitie lost it! She slammed her little hands on the table, burst into tears and said, “it sucks!”

Ralph’s grateful admiration for her courage and her sister’s resounding squeal of agreement has become one of our family’s most beloved ‘the things Mom made us eat’ stories.

The tofu experiments ended with me trying to ingratiate myself back into their appetites with a Pavlova peace-offering.

It worked like a charm!

I prepared Pavlova at the restaurant for the first time last week. My recipe is crunchy on the outside but billowy and soft on the inside – a perfect Italian meringue. Our customers are loving it as much as my family.

I could not ask for more!


serves 8

preheat oven 275*F

1 cup egg whites, at room temperature

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

1 cup sugar

4 teaspoons cornstarch

1 teaspoon white wine vinegar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Line baking sheet with parchment paper and spray lightly with baking spray

Beat egg whites with salt and cream of tartar until stiff peaks form

Gradually add sugar, 2 tablespoons at a time, beat until billowy

Add cornstarch, beat well – the mixture will have a beautiful sheen

Add vinegar and vanilla

Spread out on baking sheet making a 12 x 12 square – batter should be 2″ high

Place in oven and bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes

Cool completely and serve with whipped cream and your favorite fruit.

Thanks for reading.

  • I like tofu but I’m not especially fond of the plain silken tofu (the white stuff). I prefer buying marinated or smoked tofu, sometimes smoked tofu with added tomato or sesame seeds, and it’s really delicious! Doesn’t taste like silken tofu at all.

    That pavlova looks and sounds delicious!

  • theculinarychase
    • Sadly, I am done with tofu – thanks though…

  • I HATED IT….I was starving to death mama

    • I know dear – you were near death…

  • OMG, that looks delicious! I’d say we’ll have to plan our dinner around dessert!

  • This was a terrible time in my childhood. I almost starved to death…xo

  • That Pavlova was DELISH on Friday night. That is one recipe I might attempt. Operative word ‘might’.

    • You could make it no problem!

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  • Meaghan Zunich

    mama you should do another pavlova post